Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, Emperor of India, from 20 January 1936 until his abdication on 11 December the same year, after which he became the Duke of Windsor. Edward was the eldest son of King George Queen Mary, he was created Prince of Wales on his sixteenth birthday, nine weeks after his father succeeded as king. As a young man, he served in the British Army during the First World War and undertook several overseas tours on behalf of his father. Edward became king on his father's death in early 1936. However, he showed impatience with court protocol, caused concern among politicians by his apparent disregard for established constitutional conventions. Only months into his reign, he caused a constitutional crisis by proposing to Wallis Simpson, an American who had divorced her first husband and was seeking a divorce from her second; the prime ministers of the United Kingdom and the Dominions opposed the marriage, arguing a divorced woman with two living ex-husbands was politically and unacceptable as a prospective queen consort.
Additionally, such a marriage would have conflicted with Edward's status as the titular head of the Church of England, which at the time disapproved of remarriage after divorce if a former spouse was still alive. Edward knew the British government, led by Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, would resign if the marriage went ahead, which could have forced a general election and would ruin his status as a politically neutral constitutional monarch; when it became apparent he could not marry Wallis and remain on the throne, Edward abdicated. He was succeeded by his younger brother, George VI. With a reign of 326 days, Edward is one of the shortest-reigning monarchs in British history. After his abdication, he was created Duke of Windsor, he married Wallis in France on 3 June 1937. That year, the couple toured Germany. During the Second World War, he was at first stationed with the British Military Mission to France, but after private accusations that he held Nazi sympathies he was appointed Governor of the Bahamas.
After the war, Edward spent the rest of his life in retirement in France. Edward and Wallis remained married until his death in 1972. Edward was born on 23 June 1894 at White Lodge, Richmond Park, on the outskirts of London during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, he was the eldest son of the Duchess of York. His father was the son of the Princess of Wales, his mother was the eldest daughter of the Duchess of Teck. At the time of his birth, he was third in the line of succession to the throne, behind his grandfather and father, he was baptised Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David in the Green Drawing Room of White Lodge on 16 July 1894 by Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury. The names were chosen in honour of Edward's late uncle, known to his family as "Eddy" or Edward, his great-grandfather King Christian IX of Denmark; the name Albert was included at the behest of Queen Victoria for her late husband Albert, Prince Consort, the last four names – George, Andrew and David – came from the patron saints of England, Scotland and Wales.
He was always known to his close friends by his last given name, David. As was common practice with upper-class children of the time and his younger siblings were brought up by nannies rather than directly by their parents. One of Edward's early nannies abused him by pinching him before he was due to be presented to his parents, his subsequent crying and wailing would lead the Duchess to send him and the nanny away. The nanny was discharged. Edward's father, though a harsh disciplinarian, was demonstrably affectionate, his mother displayed a frolicsome side with her children that belied her austere public image, she was amused by the children making tadpoles on toast for their French master, encouraged them to confide in her. Edward was tutored at home by Helen Bricka; when his parents travelled the British Empire for nine months following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, young Edward and his siblings stayed in Britain with their grandparents, Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII, who showered their grandchildren with affection.
Upon his parents' return, Edward was placed under the care of two men, Frederick Finch and Henry Hansell, who brought up Edward and his brothers and sister for their remaining nursery years. Edward was kept under the strict tutorship of Hansell until thirteen years old. Private tutors taught him French. Edward took the examination to enter the Royal Naval College and began there in 1907. Hansell had wanted Edward to enter school earlier. Following two years at Osborne College, which he did not enjoy, Edward moved on to the Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. A course of two years, followed by entry into the Royal Navy, was planned. A bout of mumps may have made him infertile. Edward automatically became Duke of Cornwall and Duke of Rothesay on 6 May 1910 when his father ascended the throne as George V on the death of Edward VII, he was created Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester a month on 23 June 1910, his 16th birthday. Preparations for his future as king began in earnest, he was withdrawn from his naval course before his formal graduation, served as midshipman for three months aboard the battleship Hindustan immediately entered Magdalen College, for which, in the opinion of his biogra
The Highlands is a historic region of Scotland. Culturally, the Highlands and the Lowlands diverged from the Middle Ages into the modern period, when Lowland Scots replaced Scottish Gaelic throughout most of the Lowlands; the term is used for the area north and west of the Highland Boundary Fault, although the exact boundaries are not defined to the east. The Great Glen divides the Grampian Mountains to the southeast from the Northwest Highlands; the Scottish Gaelic name of A' Ghàidhealtachd means "the place of the Gaels" and traditionally, from a Gaelic-speaking point of view, includes both the Western Isles and the Highlands. The area is sparsely populated, with many mountain ranges dominating the region, includes the highest mountain in the British Isles, Ben Nevis. Before the 19th century the Highlands was home to a much larger population, but from circa 1841 and for the next 160 years, the natural increase in population was exceeded by emigration and migration to the industrial cities of Scotland and England.
The area is now one of the most sparsely populated in Europe. At 9.1 per km2 in 2012, the population density in the Highlands and Islands is less than one seventh of Scotland's as a whole, comparable with that of Bolivia and Russia. The Highland Council is the administrative body for much of the Highlands, with its administrative centre at Inverness. However, the Highlands includes parts of the council areas of Aberdeenshire, Angus and Bute, North Ayrshire and Kinross, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire; the Scottish highlands is the only area in the British Isles to have the taiga biome as it features concentrated populations of Scots pine forest: see Caledonian Forest. Between the 15th century and the 20th century, the area differed from most of the Lowlands in terms of language. In Scottish Gaelic, the region is known as the Gàidhealtachd, because it was traditionally the Gaelic-speaking part of Scotland, although the language is now confined to The Hebrides; the terms are sometimes used interchangeably but have different meanings in their respective languages.
Scottish English is the predominant language of the area today, though Highland English has been influenced by Gaelic speech to a significant extent. The "Highland line" distinguished the two Scottish cultures. While the Highland line broadly followed the geography of the Grampians in the south, it continued in the north, cutting off the north-eastern areas, Eastern Caithness and Shetland, from the more Gaelic Highlands and Hebrides; the major social unit of the Highlands was the clan. Scottish kings James VI, saw clans as a challenge to their authority. Following the Union of the Crowns, James VI had the military strength to back up any attempts to impose some control; the result was, in 1609, the Statutes of Iona which started the process of integrating clan leaders into Scottish society. The gradual changes continued into the 19th century, as clan chiefs thought of themselves less as patriarchal leaders of their people and more as commercial landlords; the first effect on the clansmen who were their tenants was the change to rents being payable in money rather than in kind.
Rents were increased as Highland landowners sought to increase their income. This was followed in the period 1760-1850, by agricultural improvement that involved clearance of the population to make way for large scale sheep farms. Displaced tenants were set up in crofting communities in the process; the crofts were intended not to provide all the needs of their occupiers. Crofters came to rely on seasonal migrant work in the Lowlands; this gave impetus to the learning of English, seen by many rural Gaelic speakers to be the essential "language of work". Older historiography attributes the collapse of the clan system to the aftermath of the Jacobite risings; this is now thought less influential by historians. Following the Jacobite rising of 1745 the British government enacted a series of laws to try to suppress the clan system, including bans on the bearing of arms and the wearing of tartan, limitations on the activities of the Scottish Episcopal Church. Most of this legislation was repealed by the end of the 18th century as the Jacobite threat subsided.
There was soon a rehabilitation of Highland culture. Tartan was adopted for Highland regiments in the British Army, which poor Highlanders joined in large numbers in the era of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Tartan had been abandoned by the ordinary people of the region, but in the 1820s, tartan and the kilt were adopted by members of the social elite, not just in Scotland, but across Europe; the international craze for tartan, for idealising a romanticised Highlands, was set off by the Ossian cycle, further popularised by the works of Walter Scott. His "staging" of the visit of King George IV to Scotland in 1822 and the king's wearing of tartan resulted in a massive upsurge in demand for kilts and tartans that could not be met by the Scottish woollen industry. Individual clan tartans were designated in this period and they became a major symbol of Scottish identity; this "Highlandism", by which all of Scotland was identified with the culture of the Highlands, was cemented by Queen Victoria's interest in the country, her adoption of Balmoral as a major royal retreat, her interes
Glen Affric is a glen south-west of the village of Cannich in the Highland region of Scotland, some 15 miles to the west of Loch Ness. The River Affric runs along its length, passing through Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin. A minor public road reaches as far as the end of Loch Beinn a' Mheadhoin, but beyond that point only rough tracks and footpaths continue along the glen. Described as the most beautiful glen in Scotland, Glen Affric contains the third largest area of ancient Caledonian pinewoods in Scotland, as well as lochs and mountains; the area is a Caledonian Forest Reserve, a national scenic area and a national nature reserve, as well as holding several other conservation designations. The forests and open landscapes of the glen, the mountains on either side, are a popular destination for hikers and mountain bikers. Glen Affric is listed in the Caledonian Pinewood Inventory, contains the third largest area of ancient Caledonian pinewoods in Scotland. Due to the importance of this woodland it has been classified as a national nature reserve since 2002, holds several other conservation designations.
The pinewood consists predominantly of Scots pine, but includes broadleaved species such as birch, aspen and alder. The forest floor hosts many plant species found in Scotland's pinewoods, including creeping ladies tresses, lesser twayblade and four species of wintergreen. Many nationally rare or scarce species of lichens grow on the trees of Glen Affric. Scots pine trees first colonised the area after the last Ice Age 8-10,000 years ago; the oldest trees in the area are the gnarled "granny" pines that are the survivors from generations of felling by humans. Although felling ceased many years ago, regrowth had been hampered by unnaturally high populations of sheep and deer, in the early 1950s the Forestry Commission found that few of the remaining pines were less than 100 years old; the main aim of management has therefore been to encourage regrowth of the pinewood by reducing deer numbers and by minimising the use of fencing which can have negative impacts on black grouse and capercaillie who collide with the wires.
Management of the reserve seeks to remove non-native trees such as rhododendron. Some commercial forestry continues in order to maintain forest cover and to provide economic benefits to the local community; the long term aim is to provide a network of forest habitats, with corridors of new forest linking existing woodland, interspersed with open areas. Management of the reserve seeks to establish a'treeline transition zone', in which there is a more gradual transition between woodland and mountain heath via a zone of shorter, more twisted trees and low-growing shrubs. At western end of the glen the National Trust for Scotland are aiming to encourage the growth of other tree species such as birch and rowan to complement the pinewood. Following nearly seventy years of management to encourage restoration of the area, biodiversity has improved and Glen Affric now supports birds such as black grouse, crested tit and Scottish crossbill, as well as raptor species such as ospreys and golden eagles.
Glen Affric is home to Scottish wildcats and otters. The bogs and lochs of the glen provide a habitat for many species of dragonfly, including the rare brilliant emerald. Glen Affric written Glenaffric, was part of the lands of the Clan Chisholm and the Clan Fraser of Lovat from the 15th to the mid 19th centuries. By the early 15th century, Lord Lovat had passed the lands to his son Thomas who in turn passed it on to his son, recorded in Burke's Landed Gentry Scotland as William Fraser, first Laird of Guisachan. In 1579, Thomas Chisholm, Laird of Strathglass, was imprisoned for being a Catholic. By the 18th century, the title deeds of Glen Affric had been a source of feuding with the Battle of Glen Affric taking place in 1721. There exists in the Scottish Register of Tartans a "Glenaffric Fragment" that dates from the late 17th century. By 1854, Dudley Marjoribanks Lord Tweedmouth, had acquired ownership of Glen Affric and Guisachan from Fraser, whose family had built the original Guisachan Georgian manor house around 1755.
By the 1860s, Lord Tweedmouth, as the new laird, had much enlarged the house, using Scottish architect Alexander Reid who designed many buildings on Tweedmouth's vast Glen Affric Estate, including an entire village – Tomich – and the hunting lodge, described in appearance as "castle-like". Tweedmouth had enjoyed a long lease on shooting rights over much of Glen Affric since 1846, following his acquisition of the estate he initiated the first breed of golden retrievers at kennels near Guisachan House, he put the retrievers to good use at the shooting parties he hosted when at Glen Affric Lodge. The retrievers were sent to other estates when, for some months of the years 1870–71, he leased the Glen Affric Estate to Lord Grosvenor; the Duke and Duchess of York are reported in The Graphic, 25 September 1897 to have visited the Guisachan Estate in Strathglass, including Glen Affric Lodge and deer park. The 2nd Baroness Tweedmouth was a "lover of the golden retriever dog" and was known and loved in the Highlands as the Lady of Glenaffric and Guisachan.
She had been born daughter of the 7th Duke of Marlborough. She died at Glen Affric Lodge in 1904, her nephew Winston Churchill came to visit the estate in 1901, amused himself learning how to drive a car in the grounds. Although Edward Marjoribanks, 2nd Baron Tweedmouth had inherited the Glenaffric and Guisachan e
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia (1856–1929)
Grand Duke Nicholas Nikolaevich of Russia was a Russian general in World War I. A grandson of Emperor Nicholas I of Russia, he was commander in chief of the Russian Imperial Army units on the main front in the first year of the war, was a successful commander-in-chief in the Caucasus region, he was recognized as Tsar, Emperor of Russia in 1922 in areas controlled by the White Armies movement in the Russian Far East. A tall man, named after his paternal grandfather the emperor, was born as the eldest son to Grand Duke Nicholas Nicolaevich of Russia and Alexandra Petrovna of Oldenburg on 18 November 1856, his father was the sixth child and third son born to Nicholas I of Russia and his Empress consort Alexandra Fedorovna of Prussia. Alexandra Fedorovna was a daughter of Frederick William III of Prussia and Louise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz. Nicholas' mother, his father's first cousin's daughter, was a daughter of Duke Konstantin Peter of Oldenburg and Princess Therese of Nassau, his maternal grandfather was a son of Duke George of Oldenburg and Grand Duchess Catherine Pavlovna of Russia, daughter of Paul I of Russia and Maria Fedorovna of Württemberg.
His maternal grandmother was a daughter of Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau and Princess Luise of Saxe-Hildburghausen. The Duke of Nassau was a son of Friedrich Wilhelm, Duke of Nassau and Burgravine Louise Isabelle of Kirchberg, his paternal grandparents were Duke Karl Christian of Carolina of Orange-Nassau. Carolina was a daughter of Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange. Anne was the eldest daughter of George II of Great Caroline of Ansbach. Grand Duke Nicholas was the first cousin once removed of Tsar Nicholas II. To distinguish between them the Grand Duke was known within the Imperial family as "Nikolasha". Grand Duke Nicholas was educated at the school of military engineers and received his commission in 1873. During the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78, he was on the staff of his father, commander in chief, he distinguished himself on two occasions in this war. He worked his way up through all the ranks until he was appointed commander of the Guard Hussar Regiment in 1884, he had a reputation as a tough commander, yet one respected by his troops.
His experience was more as a trainer of soldiers than a leader in battle. Nicholas was a religious man, praying in the morning and at night as well as before and after meals, he was happiest in the hunting or caring for his estates. By 1895, he was inspector-general of a post he held for 10 years, his tenure has been judged a success with reforms in training, cavalry schools, cavalry reserves and the remount services. He was not given an active command during the Russo-Japanese War because the Tsar did not wish to hazard the prestige of the Romanovs and because he wanted a loyal general in command at home in case of domestic disturbances. Thus, Nicholas did not have the opportunity to gain experience in battlefield command. Grand Duke Nicholas played a crucial role during the Revolution of 1905. With anarchy spreading and the future of the dynasty at stake, the Tsar had a choice of instituting the reforms suggested by Count Sergei Witte or imposing a military dictatorship; the only man with the prestige to keep the allegiance of the army in such a coup was the Grand Duke.
The Tsar asked him to assume the role of a military dictator. In an emotional scene at the palace, Nicholas refused, drew his pistol and threatened to shoot himself on the spot if the Tsar did not endorse Witte's plan; this act was decisive in forcing Nicholas II to agree to the reforms. From 1905 to the outbreak of World War I, he was commander-in-chief of the St. Petersburg Military District, he had the reputation there of appointing men of humble origins to positions of authority. The lessons of the Russo-Japanese War were drilled into his men. On 29 April 1907, Nicholas married Princess Anastasia of Montenegro, the daughter of King Nicholas I, sister of Princess Milica, who had married Nicholas's brother, Grand Duke Peter, they had no children. She had been married to George Maximilianovich, 6th Duke of Leuchtenberg, by whom she had two children, until their divorce in 1906. Since the Montenegrins were a fiercely Slavic, anti-Turkish people from the Balkans, Anastasia reinforced the Pan-Slavic tendencies of Nicholas.
Nicholas was a hunter. Ownership of borzoi hounds was restricted to members of the highest nobility, Nicholas's packs were well-known; as the Russian dogs perished in the Revolution of 1917–18, the borzoi of today are descended from gifts he made to European friends before World War I. In his lifetime and his dogs caught hundreds of wolves. A pair of borzoi were used, which caught the wolf, one on each side, while Nicholas dismounted and cut the wolf's throat with a knife. Hunting was his major recreation, he traveled in his private train across Russia with his horses and dogs, hunting while on his rounds of inspection; the Grand Duke had no part in the planning and preparations for World War I, that being the responsibility of General Vladimir Sukhomlinov and the general staff. On the eve of the outbreak of World War I, his first cousin once removed, the Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, yielded to the entreaties of his ministers and appointed Grand Duke Nicholas to the supreme command, he was 57 years old and had never commanded armies in the field before, although he had
Laird is a generic name for the owner of a large, long-established Scottish estate equivalent to an esquire in England, yet ranking above the same in Scotland. In the Scottish order of precedence, a laird ranks above a gentleman; this rank is only held by those lairds holding official recognition in a territorial designation by the Lord Lyon King of Arms. They are styled of, are traditionally entitled to place The Much Honoured before their name. Although the UK Government deems that "for Scottish lairds it is not necessary for the words Laird of to appear on any part of a passport, requests from applicants and passport holders for manorial titles and Scottish lairds to be included in their passports may be accepted providing documentary evidence is submitted, recorded in the passport with the observation e.g.: THE HOLDER IS THE LORD OF THE MANOR/LAIRD OF....... ". The Lord Lyon, Scotland's authority on titles, has produced the following guidance regarding the current use of the term laird as a courtesy title:The term ‘laird’ has been applied to the owner of an estate, sometimes by the owner himself or, more by those living and working on the estate.
It is a description rather than a title, is not appropriate for the owner of a normal residential property, far less the owner of a small souvenir plot of land. The term ‘laird’ is not synonymous with that of ‘lord’ or ‘lady’. Ownership of a souvenir plot of land is not sufficient to bring a person otherwise ineligible within the jurisdiction of the Lord Lyon for the purpose of seeking a grant of arms; the term bonnet laird was applied to rural, petty landowners, as they wore a bonnet like the non-landowning classes. Bonnet lairds filled a position in society below lairds and above husbandmen, similar to the yeomen of England; the word "laird" is known to have been used from the 15th century, is a shortened form of laverd, derived from the Old English word hlafweard meaning "warden of loaves". The word "lord" is of the same origin, would have been interchangeable with "laird". In the 15th and 16th centuries, the designation was used for land owners holding directly of the Crown, therefore were entitled to attend Parliament.
Lairds reigned over their estates like their castles forming a small court. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the designation was applied to the head chief of a highland clan and therefore was not personal property and had obligations towards the community; the laird may possess certain feudal rights. A lairdship carried voting rights in the ancient pre-Union Parliament of Scotland, although such voting rights were expressed via two representatives from each county who were known as Commissioners of the Shires, who came from the laird class and were chosen by their peers to represent them. A certain level of landownership was a necessary qualification. A laird is said to hold a lairdship. A woman who holds a lairdship in her own right has been styled with the honorific "Lady". Although "laird" is sometimes translated as lord and signifies the same, like the English term lord of the manor "laird" is not a title of nobility; the designation is a'corporeal hereditament', i.e. the designation cannot be held in gross, cannot be bought and sold without selling the physical land.
The designation does not entitle the owner to sit in the House of Lords and is the Scottish equivalent to an English squire, in that it is not a noble title, more a courtesy designation meaning landowner with no other rights assigned to it. A laird possessing a Coat of Arms registered in the Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland is a member of Scotland's minor nobility; such a person can be recognised as a laird, if not a chief or chieftain, or descendant of one of these, by the formal recognition of a territorial designation as a part of their name by the Lord Lyon. The Lord Lyon is the ultimate arbiter as to determining entitlement to a territorial designation, his right of discretion in recognising these, their status as a name, dignity or title, have been confirmed in the Scottish courts. Several websites, internet vendors on websites like Ebay, sell Scottish lairdships along with minuscule "plots of land" – one foot squared; the Court of the Lord Lyon considers these particular titles to be meaningless because it is impossible to have numerous "lairds" of a single estate at the same time, as has been advertised by these companies.
A contemporary popular view of Lairdship titles has taken a unique twist in the 21st century in millions of sales of souvenir land plots from buyers who show no interests in the opinions of the Registry of Scotland or of the Court of Lyon. They see their contract purporting to sell a plot of Scottish souvenir land as bestowing them the informal right to the title Laird; this is despite the fact that the buyer does not acquire ownership of the plot because registration of the plot is prohibited by Land Registration Act 2012, s 22. As ownership of land in Scotland requires registration of a valid disposition under Land Registration Act 2012, s 50 the prohibition on registration of a souvenir plot means the buyer does not acquire ownership, accordingly has no entitlement to a descriptive title premised on landownership. A study in 2003 by academics at the Universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen concluded that:"The modern Scottish Highland sporting estate continues to be a place owned by an absentee landowner who uses its 15-20,000 acres for hu